Montreal Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush
Courtesy of Montreal Impact

Montreal Impact plan to keep Evan Bush in goal, insist "it's not a demotion" for Troy Perkins

MONTREAL – Don’t worry, MLS Fantasy owners. Montreal Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush has got you covered for his team’s double-game week.

“As far as I know, I’m still playing,” Bush told reporters on Tuesday.

Bush thus looks set to start again on Thursday night when the Impact visit Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium (10 pm ET, UDN, MLS Live). It would be a second straight start for Bush, who made four saves in his first of the MLS season last Saturday, a 2-1 loss at Columbus.

Head coach Frank Klopas insisted on Tuesday that he was not downgrading Troy Perkins, who has been a fixture in front of the Montreal goal since his arrival from Portland in August 2012.

Changes are all about form, Klopas said, citing center back Matteo Ferrari as an example of a return to form after sitting a few games.

“I think Troy’s very good, but maybe with the amount of games, he’s not as sharp; maybe he’s a little bit tired,” Klopas said. “[Bush] has been looking really good and sharp in training sessions and in the game he’s played. It’s a position where, obviously, you need rhythm and you need to be a little more patient. But I think he deserved the opportunity to be there, and I think he had a good game against Columbus.”

Having never started more than one MLS game in a season, Bush has been a steady hand in Reserve League, Canadian Championship and CONCACAF Champions League games over the last two-and-a-half seasons. Bush, who described this Thursday’s date with Salt Lake as one that “we can be excited for,” said there is a good working relationship based on mutual respect between him and Perkins.

“You can’t really say it’s a promotion or a demotion,” Bush said of the goalkeeping chance. “We’re a team. So within the team, we had changes based on different guys in different situations.”

From the field players’ perspective, the goalkeeping situation is no concern, according to team captain Patrice Bernier. He believes changes are to be expected, given the team's 10th-place standing and three-game losing streak.

“We’re in a situation where everyone wants to win,” Bernier said. “The coach wants to win. The club wants to win. We all want to find the recipe that will lead us to this win and give us this momentum where we don’t lose. Troy’s been fantastic for us several times. Even in games that we lost, we wouldn't have been in the game if it hadn’t been for him.”